DIESSEN, Netherlands — The second European Softball Federation-led softball camp for players and coaches took place in Diessen, the Netherlands 25-29 October. A total of 24 coaches and 38 players from 12 countries met to learn more about softball and to share their knowledge and experience. Eight instructors led the campers through five days of softball training and educational blocks.
The instructors were:
- Craig Montvidas (USA) – former Dutch National Team head coach
- Enrico Obletter (ITA/AUS) – Italian National Team head coach
- Karen Marr (AUS) – Dutch National Team pitching coach
- Rachael Watkeys (GBR) – British National Team head coach
- Celine Lassaigne (FRA) – French National Team head coach
- Berend Mannessen (NED) – former Dutch National Team assistant coach
- Marjolein Merkx (NED) – Dutch National Team pitcher
- Anouk van den Heuvel (NED) – softball instructor
To assure enough opportunities for each player to improve during the camp, the players were divided into four training groups, depending on their primary positions. Pitchers were given a special attention by Karen Marr and Marjolein Merkx. Enrico Obletter devoted most of his time to hitting instruction, which turned out to be one of the most requested sessions.
On the last day of the camp, Britt Vonk (Dutch National Team and professional player) came to visit the campers and to tell them about her softball career. She also helped with slap-hitting instruction and was very friendly to all the players and coaches, who enjoyed taking selfies and talking to their softball role model.
Prior to the camp, Craig Montvidas, the ESCA Camp Director, said: “I don’t believe that we can make them better, but I believe that we can make them smarter.” The campers left the camp not only smarter but also full of memories.
As the 2017 European Softball Coaches Association Camp was just launched, this year is considered a test that worked perfectly. This project is something that the ESCA will want to continue with into the future as players and coaches have already talked about coming back next year, bringing their teammates, or other coaches.